DRAG seeks rollback of GST on disability aids

first_imgPANAJI: The Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) has demanded a complete rollback of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on aids and appliances used by persons with disabilities (PwDs).DRAG president Avelino de Sa said on Wednesday that the Central government has proposed a 12% GST on Braille paper, hearing aids and Braille watches, and 18% levy on Braille typewriters and cars for disabled persons. He said, “Aids and appliances for PwDs are a necessity and not a luxury item, as they enable us to lead a normal life. Imposition of GST at 12% to 18% on these aids and appliances will increase their cost substantially, as they are currently exempted from all taxes. It will put them out of reach of the common man. Hence, we demand a complete rollback of GST on these aids and appliances.”He said the association has written to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, seeking his intervention in the matter.last_img read more

Darjeeling shutdown to continue

first_imgA meeting of various political parties and organisations decided on Thursday to go ahead with the ongoing shutdown in the Darjeeling hills in support of the demand for a separate State of Gorkhaland.The strike has been on since June 15. The hills are witnessing a near total shutdown for the last three weeks.“The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee at a meeting on Thursday condemned the blockade that has affected the transportation of basic commodities, including even baby foods, to the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim. The administration will be responsible for any unfortunate events arising out of the blockade,” Neeraj Zimba, spokesperson of the Gorkha National Liberation Front ( GNLF), told The Hindu. Representatives of 14 political parties and social organisation participated in the meeting at St George School at Pedong. The members decided to form subcommittees, including a legal sub committee. The next all-party meeting will be held on July 18.last_img read more

No staged encounters: U.P. govt.

first_imgUttar Pradesh Power Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma has dismissed reports that the killing of 17 alleged criminals within the first six months of the Yogi Adityanath government points to a tendency to view encounter killings as a substitute for the due judicial process.He told The Hindu here on Friday that the facts stated otherwise, with the killings occurring as operational casualties and police personnel too being hit. “The State government is very clear that it has to crack down on criminal elements. Over 430 encounters have taken place in this period, and over 1,106 individuals with a price on their head due to various criminal activities have been arrested. In this process, 17 people were killed. Nearly 89 policemen have been injured and one policeman has also lost his life. It is unfair to say that this is being seen as any substitute for the judicial process, these are operational outcomes,” he said.Mayawati’s chargeBahujan Samaj Party chief and former Chief Minister Mayawati had questioned the high number of encounter killings in the State. “Blowing the trumpet on police encounters in the past six months in the name of crime control raises the question of whether only members of a particular class or community indulge in crime or are history-sheeters,” she said. Mr. Sharma was quick to respond to this criticism, saying that unlike governments in the past, the BJP-led government in the State was not being seen as providing any kind of shelter to criminal elements. “The government is active on cracking down on crime, and it should be a matter of some relief to the citizens that this government is not seen as sheltering any criminal elements,” the Minister said.last_img read more

Kashmir: three separatists released

first_imgCoinciding with Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma’s stay in Kashmir, three senior separatists leaders were released from jails.In an apparent move to soft pedal on separatists for time being, the government also allowed Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik to visit volatile Handwara, while an NIA summon to Syed Ali Geelani’s son was cancelled “without citing any reason”.Muslim League chairman and former Hizbullah commander Mushtaq-ul-Islam, arrested in July this year, was released on Wednesday.Two days ago, Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Syedah Asiya Andrabi and secretary Sofi Fehmeeda were also released.The government also allowed JKLF chief Yasin Malik to meet the families, who relatives died in counter-insurgency operations, in volatile Handwara. Otherwise, the government has been consistently placing the separatist leaders under the house arrest.At the same time, the NIA summon to Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Geelani’s son Naseem Geelani was also cancelled on Tuesday “without citing any reason”.Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) downplayed these developments. “These releases were as part of the due process of law,” PDP minister Nayeedm Akhtar told The Hindu.However, Mr. Andrabi was quick to add: “This should help in creating a conducive atmosphere”.On these events coinciding with Mr. Sharma’s visit, Mr. Andrabi said, “This (Mr. Sharma’s initiative) is not ornamental or anger management process but a take-off point to reach out people of Kashmir to end alienation.”Both the factions of the Hurriyat refused to comment on the releases. However, the spokesman of Democratic Front Party, whose chief Shabir Shah was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate earlier this year, said, “Releasing political prisoners is a positive step and the positive steps always bring positive results. It is of utmost importance to take positive steps to bring a change on the grass root level.”Sharma leaves for JammuAfter a two-day stay in Valley, Mr. Sharma left for Jammu on Wednesday and met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti there.”Mr. Sharma briefed the Chief Minister about his consultations with a cross section of society during his present stay in the State,” said an official.Earlier in the day, he met a few delegations in Srinagar.PDP general secretary (Youth) Engineer Nazir Ahmad Yatoo, who met the interlocutor, said, “The role of NIA should be restricted in J&K. It’s being seriously viewed by public at large and the NIA action undermines the state’s institutions like J&K Police.”last_img read more

Come clean on Parrikar’s illness: Goa Congress chief

first_imgPanaji: The Congress on Wednesday demanded that the Goa government come clean on the nature of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s illness. They said with Mr. Parrikar being in and out of hospitals in Mumbai and Goa for nearly a fortnight, the administration stands paralysed.Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Goa Pradesh Congress Committe president Shantaram Naik said the fact that Mr. Parrikar did not delegate responsibilities of the Chief Minister’s Office or depute any of his Ministers to oversee government functioning, proves that he does not trust any Minister, either from his party or allies. “We have sympathies for Mr. Parrikar and our party has all along cooperated with the government even during the Assembly session, but the Chief Minister should be transparent about his illness. He should be true to the people of Goa who have elected him,” Mr. Naik said. He pointed out that CM holds more than 20 portfolios, which include critical ministries like Home, Mining, and Finance, among others. “With him in hospital, administration and decision-making in all these ministries has come to a standstill. The State has been effectively headless for the last 15 days,” Mr. Naik said. Mr. Parrikar was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on February 15 and his office said he was being treated for “mild pancreatitis”. He came back to Goa on February 22 and presented the annual budget in the Assembly. He was admitted to GMC on Sunday due to dehydration and low BP.last_img read more

Students vandalise Manipur university

first_imgA section of students has vandalised the administrative head office of the newly opened National Sports University here, the police said on Saturday.The students smashed furniture, broke computers, tables and chairs of the varsity located at Manipur Olympic House on Friday, said K. Meghachandra Singh, Superintendent of Police, Imphal East district.Culprits absconding The culprits are absconding and there have been no arrests yet, the SP said while alleging that some members of the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM)were involved in the vandalism.DESAM president Salam Akash had earlier said that his organisation would launched an agitation demanding opening of all the departments of NSU including sports journalism, sports management and performance and analysis courses in the university.DESAM leaders couldn’t be reached for their reaction to the Imphal East district SP’s charge.last_img read more

14 patients die as staff goes on strike in Jharkhand hospital

first_imgAt least 14 patients died in the past 36 hours in the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Jharkhand as nurses and junior doctors of the institute were on a strike against an assault on one of its staff. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Sunday took cognisance of the RIMS incident and asked Chief Secretary Sudhir Tripathy and Health Minister Ramchandra Chndrabansi to hold talks with the nurses and junior doctors.The trouble began when a patient Geeta Devi died after a nurse gave her an injection. Following her death, the nurse was thrashed by Devi’s attendants on Friday night.On Saturday morning, the nurses and junior doctors of RIMS went on a strike and did not allow admission of patients in the hospital while those already admitted were not provided medicine and treatment, resulting in the death of 14 patients.The Chief Minister said that everyone had the right to protest but chaos would not be tolerated in the RIMS.More than 2,000 OPD patients returned on Saturday and Sunday without treatment while family members of many patients admitted in RIMS shifted them to other hospitals.On Sunday afternoon Chndrabansi and Tripathy reached RIMS for dialogue, following which the strike was called off.last_img read more

Miscreants loot 5 ATMs

first_imgUnidentified miscreants cut open five State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs in Odisha’s Berhampur within a few hours on Monday night and escaped with ₹16,85,000 in cash.These ATMs are located in four police station areas of Berhampur district. According to Berhampur Superintendent of Police Pinak Mishra, preliminary investigation suggests that a gang of inter-State criminals was involved in this series of ATM thefts on a single night. “A special police team has been formed to investigate and track down the culprits behind the ATM thefts,” the SP said.The looters targeted SBI ATMs that did not have any security guards. Their modus operandi was the same at all the places. Late at night, they got into the unguarded ATM counters and pulled down the shutters to avoid getting noticed by any passer-by. They used gas cutters to cut open the ATM machines.CCTV camera damagedBut the miscreants failed to loot the sixth SBI ATM at Saradhabali under the Gopalpur police station limits. Spotting a police patrol vehicle, they escaped from the spot. But by that time, they had damaged the CCTV camera and were attempting to break open the ATM.The miscreants managed to break open the SBI ATM at Haladiapadar under the Golanthara police station limits with a gas cutter. Using the same method, they were able to cut open sealed chambers of SBI ATMs at Khodasingi, Ankuli and Lanjipalli under the Baidyanathpur police station limits and another ATM in the Gosaninuagaon police station area.last_img read more

Rail blockade hits train services to Northeast

first_imgA rail blockade by a group seeking Scheduled Tribe status for the Koch-Rajbanshi community affected train services to and from the Northeast on Monday.Northeast Frontier Railway officials said more than 500 protesters blocked the tracks at Choutara station close to the Assam-West Bengal border and at Simaluguri in eastern Assam. This affected the schedule of many passenger and goods trains.The blockade was organised by the All Assam Koch-Rajbanshi Sammelan.“When negotiations failed, the picketers started throwing stones. The police resorted to cane charge to disperse the crowd. Train services were restored after removal of obstructions and certification of track safety,” an NFR spokesperson said.Many long-distance trains had to be halted at different stations because of the blockade, officials said. Two local passenger trains had to be cancelled while the Rajdhani Express and Guwahati-Bangalore Express were diverted via an alternative route.Though no long-distance trains were cancelled, trains were running late as they had to be either diverted or controlled at different stations, NFR officials said.last_img read more

Hold probe against separatists in public, Mehbooba tells NIA

first_imgFormer chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to bring all the facts pertaining to their investigations in the State in public domain.”Bringing facts about its investigations in the State into public is all the more necessary in view of the remarks made by a Division bench of Delhi High Court in its 40-page judgement while disposing off a case related to such investigations a week ago,” said Ms. Mufti in a statement issued in Srinagar.In a major crackdown in 2017, when PDP-BJP alliance was ruling J&K, the NIA arrested seven separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir to investigate “illegal funding from across the border”. Ms. Mufti said complaints had been put forth in the State that those accused by the NIA, ranging from family members of some separatist leaders, businessmen and media owners having remote connections with the accusations levelled against them, were feeling harassed after the raids by the Agency sleuths.“In view of these misgivings it’s incumbent upon the organisation to come clean on its investigations in the State so that the misgivings which its conduct has given rise to are cleared forthwith. This would go a long way in instilling public faith in the institutions of the country and the State,’’ she said.last_img read more

6 accused in Muzaffarnagar gang rape case acquitted

first_imgCiting lack of evidence, a fast track court has acquitted six persons accused of allegedly raping a 32-year-old married woman, filming the incident and circulating the clip on the social media.Justice Balraj Singh pronounced the order on Monday letting off Irshad, Nazer, Sajid, Salauddin, Naushad and Sattar saying the prosecution had failed to substantiate its story in the case. According to the complaint filed by the victim, she was abducted and gang raped by the six accused in 2013 at Kailawda village under Khatoli Police Station in the district. The accused shot a video of the incident and circulated the clip on social media. The victim was blackmailed into submission for three years after the incident and threatened of dire consequences if she approached the police, the complaint had said.In January, 2016, police had arrested Irshad and Nazer and booked three shopkeepers in the village for allegedly leaking the video on social media. The incident had caused tensions between two communities in the village prompting the State government to deploy extra police force in the area.last_img read more

Gujjars call off quota protest in Rajasthan

first_imgGujjars occupying the rail track and highways in Rajasthan with the demand for 5% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions called off their agitation on Saturday after the State government gave a written assurance that it would take legal steps to safeguard the quota provided to them in a Bill passed by the Assembly on February 13.Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, who was sitting with hundreds of his supporters on the Delhi-Mumbai section near the Malarna station in Sawai Madhopur district, asked the agitators to lift the blockades that had thrown traffic out of gear and caused inconvenience to the public.To break the deadlock, Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh carried a draft agreement on behalf of the government to the Gujjars, promising to protect the new reservation provisions with “adequate legal safeguards.” Mr. Singh said the government would pursue the matter with the Centre.Col. Bainsla (retired) expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to the public since February 8, when the blockades were put up. He called upon the Union government to get the new Act, recognising Gujjars as an “extremely backward class,” included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to protect it from being challenged in courts.The three pieces of legislation enacted in the State since 2008, giving 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities as a Special Backward Class, were struck down by the Rajasthan High Court. The court ruled that the quota exceeded the 50% limit mandated by the Supreme Court and was not supported by the quantifiable data.Col. Bainsla, who led the stir as convener of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said the decision to call off the protest was taken “in the interest of the nation.” “We have got 5% reservation. If an issue arises at a later stage, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has promised us that he would intervene,” he said.While the 82-year-old retired Lieutenant Colonel of Indian Army along with his supporters occupied the Delhi-Mumbai railway tracks, the Gujjar agitators later blocked the Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur rail track at Chauth Ka Barwara as well as several major roads across the State, including the Jaipur-Agra national highway. The blockades led to cancellation, diversion and short termination of about 200 trains and suspension of bus services during the last nine days.Col. Bainsla said the agreement signed by him carried the government’s assurance on effective implementation of the Deonarain scheme for the welfare of Gujjars, filling of vacancies and consideration of withdrawal of criminal cases filed during the earlier agitations.In addition to Gujjars, the four other nomadic communities which have got the 5% quota are Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya. They were earlier getting 1% quota in the “most backward” category, in addition to the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota, within the 50% ceiling.The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Amendment Bill, 2019, unanimously passed by the Assembly on February 13, amended an Act of 2017 and made a provision for 5% reservation to Gujjars and others, terming them “extremely backward classes.” Following this, the quota in the State now stands at 54%.last_img read more

ScienceShot: High Temperatures Turn Mammals Into Dwarves

first_imgLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—When Earth warms, mammals shrink. That’s what researchers found when they looked back 56 million years, during a time when global temperatures increased about 6° for a period of 20,000 years. Early horses, for example the now-extinct Hyracotherium (shown on the right next to a modern horse on the left), shrunk by about 30%, presumably to increase the ratio of skin area to body volume, and thus lose heat more easily. Now, scientists have found that this wasn’t a one-off event. At last week’s meeting here of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, another team of U.S.-based researchers looked at a slightly later but somewhat less severe warming period, which happened about 53 million years ago. Using molar size as a proxy for body size, the researchers looked at mammals in sediments from the fossil-rich Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. They found that the same thing happened: Mammals, including deer and small primates that resembled today’s lemurs, got small again, with horses like Hyracotherium downsizing by about 22% this time. In both cases, the animals rebounded to their previous sizes when the warming episode was over. Both this and the earlier warming episode were preceded by big increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, similar to what we are seeing today. Time to get small, everyone?See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

FIRST at Last: Controversial Bill Introduced to Guide U.S. Science Policies

first_img  A maximum of five citations in any grant proposal.   A requirement that any growth in NSF’s graduate research fellowships be matched by growth in its traineeship program (previously called IGERT, now NRT).  A statement from every grantee that any forthcoming publication based on NSF-research will be free of fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. It’s been nearly 1 year since Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, first circulated his ideas on replacing a 2010 law that touches on key aspects of federal policy toward research and science education. Its draft provisions to alter the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) peer-review process and restrict funding for social science research elicited howls of protests from the community (also here), and Smith has said repeatedly that he welcomes constructive criticism. Last fall, he held a hearing to solicit outside comment.Today that bill was formally introduced, and on Thursday the committee’s research panel is expected to debate and then vote on the measure. Here are some of the provisions of the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology Act (H.R. 4186) that seem certain to trigger angry reaction among Democrats on the panel.   The cost of using so-called rotators—scientists on loan from their institutions—shall not exceed 110% of the cost of a permanent federal employee doing the same job.  A 40% reduction in funding for NSF’s social, behavioral, and economic sciences directorate.  A requirement for “greater accountability” in how NSF manages its research portfolio, including “written justification” from NSF that every grant serves the national interest by strengthening the economy and national defense, advancing health and welfare, building ties with industry, and augmenting the scientific workforce and public literacy.  A 2-year authorization that holds spending for NSF to its current level of $7.17 billion in 2014 and only $24 million above the administration’s request in 2015.   Free, online public access to publications based on NSF-funded research after a delay of between 2 and 3 years, depending on agency decisions. That is longer than the 12 months now backed by many publishers, scientific societies, and the White House.Come back to ScienceInsider for continuing coverage of the legislation.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Incoming Australia research chief touts water dowsing

first_imgSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—The next CEO of Australia’s leading research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), is in hot water after suggesting the cash-strapped organization spend scarce research dollars investigating water divining, or dowsing.“I’ve seen people do this with close to 80% accuracy, and I’ve no idea how they do it,” Larry Marshall told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in a recent radio interview. “When I see that, as a scientist, it makes me question, ‘Is there instrumentality that we could create that would enable a machine to find that water?’ … I’ve always wondered whether there is something in the electromagnetic field, or gravitational anomaly,” continued Marshall, who takes up his position in January.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)CSIRO scientists are keeping their heads down in the wake of a 5.45% (AU$111.4 million) budget cut that will see up to 420 jobs eliminated by June 2015, along with the closure of eight research facilities. But some experts outside the agency have been quick to decry the interest in dowsing expressed by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist with a doctorate in physics. “I’m appalled,” says John Williams, a founding member of Australia’s leading group of water experts, the independent Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, who is based in Canberra. A more serious concern, says Williams, former chief of CSIRO Land and Water, is the need to persuade Marshall to shift his focus from water extraction to conservation. “We know where the water is. The trouble is there isn’t much of it, and we don’t know how it’s replenished,” he says. Tim Mendham, executive officer of Australian Skeptics Inc., adds that it’s a “letdown” that anyone with scientific training would use “vague concepts” like electromagnetic and gravitational effects to explain an unproven phenomenon like dowsing.Marshall is sticking to his guns. “I definitely need media training, but check this out,” he wrote in an e-mail to ScienceInsider, flagging a 2014 CSIRO document titled “Quantum Gravity Sensor,” which states that “the largest detectable sources of changing gravitational anomalies are bodies of water and ice.” Marshall told ABC that he’s going to seek further advice from his more “levelheaded” CSIRO staff, but added that although dowsing is “a little out there,” it’s the agency’s job to “push the envelope.”last_img read more

Top stories: The evolution of white skin, baby faces, and why spiders are getting faster

first_imgIs your face the same age as you are?If you are one of those lucky people who ages well, your youthfulness could be more than skin deep. Scientists have found biological differences in people whose faces don’t match their age. In fact, a new study revealed that some baby-faced folk have blood profiles similar to those of younger people.How Europeans evolved white skinSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Most of us think of Europe as the ancestral home of white people. But a new study shows that pale skin, as well as other common traits like tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, evolved relatively recently among Europeans.Methane in drinking water unrelated to fracking, study suggestsFracking doesn’t appear to be allowing methane to seriously contaminate drinking water in Pennsylvania, a new study finds—contrary to some earlier, much publicized research that suggested a stronger link. But the lead authors of the two bodies of research are sparring over the validity of the new results.Spider speed increases as temperature risesYou’re not the only one who’s happy it’s spring! A new study reveals that spiders get faster when the temperature is warmer. Researchers found that the difference was caused simply by faster stride frequency.Poverty may affect the growth of children’s brainsA new study finds that family differences in income and education are directly correlated with brain size in children and adolescents. The findings could have important policy implications and provide new arguments for early antipoverty interventions.Rats see the pain in other rats’ facesWhen rats and mice are in pain, they make facial expressions just like humans do. But do these expressions mean anything to other rats? Now, researchers report that rats do pay attention to the emotional expressions of their fellows and can tell when another rat is suffering.last_img read more

Canada’s online stores for Indian grocery seek to cash in on growing demand

first_imgDuring the severe winter in Canada, venturing out is an adventure for many. But for one startup in the Greater Toronto Area, the extreme weather is an opportunity. “With adverse weather here, our business model works well. We have four months when other businesses slow down, ours will peak,” said Gurmeet Singh, the co-founder of the new company apniroots.com, launched in Toronto in the summer of 2017.Besides online ordering and delivery of Indian groceries covering a large swath of the GTA and the province of Ontario, apniroots.com also sends products via post to customers outside the delivery region.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img

One arrested for BJP worker’s murder in West Bengal

first_imgA 25-year-old youth has been arrested after a man, said to be a Bharatiya Janata Party supporter, was shot dead in West Bengal’s Nadia district following the announcement of the Lok Sabha election results, the police said on Sunday.Santu Ghosh was shot outside his home at Chakdaha on Friday night and was declared brought dead at a hospital. A political blame-game on the issue has now erupted between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress. “Bharat Biswas, 25, alias Pochan was arrested on Saturday. He was produced in a court on Sunday,” said a senior officer of the Nadia district. Asked whether the incident has any political link, the officer said that the police “didn’t find any political connection in the preliminary stage” of the investigations. While being taken to court, Biswas told reporters that he was present at the spot on the day of the murder but was busy surfing on his mobile phone. “I fled from the area when a boy named Laltu shot Shantu. I was very scared,” he said.“The accused was known to the deceased. As for the rest, everything is under investigation,” the officer said. Claiming that Ghosh had defected from the TMC, BJP activists blocked a National Highway and railway tracks for two hours on Saturday, causing major disruption of train services in the Sealdah division.BJP State unit chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that the deceased was targeted by the Trinamool as he had worked hard for the BJP during the Lok Sabha poll.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed it on infighting in the BJP.last_img read more